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Virginia lawsuit against Obamacare will continue

Today, Federal District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia issued an Order that will allow the State of Virginia to proceed with its lawsuit against Obamacare.  In a 36 page opinion, the Court found that Virginia’s Complaint against the federal government had sufficient merit, as we lawyers’ say, to state a cause of action.

In March, the State of Virginia filed a law suit against the federal government claiming that Obamacare’s mandate that we all must purchase insurance, was unconstitutional, in that, among other things, it was in direct conflict with a Virginia law that prohibited any mandate that all buy insurance.

The federal government asked that the suit be dismissed claiming that Obamacare was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, as well as Congress’s power to tax.  For more background on the government’s argument you may want to review this post.

As to the interstate commerce argument, the Court noted that:

Never before has the Commerce Clause and associated Necessary and Proper Clause been extended this far.  [See: page 25 of the above link].

The court next addressed the power to tax argument, but began that discussion with the following:

Contrary to preenactment representations by the Executive and Legislative branches, the [government] now argues alternatively that [the mandate that all buy insurance] is a product of the government’s power to tax for the general welfare.  [See: page 25]

The Court noted that because Congress, in the law itself, called this a “penalty”, not a tax , the power to impose a penalty must be in aid of an enumerated power.  In other words, some other section of the Constitution must be called upon to support it.

In conclusion, the court said,

…all [arguments] seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate – and tax – a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce.  Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue.  No reported decision from any federal appellate court has extended the Commerce Clause or the Tax Clause to include the regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce. [See: page 31]

Cutting through everything else we hear about Obamacare, that is the ultimate question.  Exactly how far reaching is the government’s power to demand that it’s citizens engage in conduct that the citizens may not otherwise do?

Filed in: Health Care Tags: , ,

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16 Responses to "Virginia lawsuit against Obamacare will continue"

  1. chris-os says:

    No. The HCR bill is Not Constitutional, nor is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and a plethora of other federal legislation bills that was been passed and signed by a POTUS.

    • With all due respect, chris, there is a distinct difference.  Both Social Security and Medicare <span style="text-decoration: underline;">were</span> passed as a tax, and, each bill's theory was that a citizen contributed to a fund, and, upon reaching a certain age, each citizen would begin drawing benefits from those contributed funds.  In other words, citizens would be getting their own money back.  Of course, in actuality, there never was a trust fund for either Social Security or Medicare, the federal government used that money for whatever it pleased.  But, that begs the question of the original justification.  As to Medicaid, there are no "Medicaid" taxes.  It is simply a program funded by the general revenues of the federal government and the state governments.

      • chris-os says:

        Ahhh, I gotcha SOS! Makes sense now! That's what I get for reading blogs.

        Thanks!

        I am not as smart as you….for sure

        and,

        no one is smarter than Kate, always the smartest person in the room!

        (Or so she likes to remind everyone)

      • Lynn says:

        SOS, you truly are SOS. I heard the brief report on this ruling on the radio. However, I always need your full explanation to really understand. Thanks for the explanation to Chris as well. Chris's response back to you shows that RadioViceonline readers have real class.

        The Constitution is being played with every day since President Obama and his cabinet have been in Washington. We need SOS. Lynn

      • Dimsdale says:

        We wouldn't need SOS to do the hard work if the media were doing its job, telling us the content and implications of the bills that someone is writing and Congress refuses to read.

         

        Thank you, SOS!!

    • Dimsdale says:

      Are we to expect that Øbamacare will work as well as the aforementioned government problems, all teetering on bankruptcy?

  2. kateinmaine says:

    sos, so very kind of you not to exploit os' youth and inexperience.

  3. No matter how they want to twist it Obamacare is not going to fly in the face of the Constitution. They can call it intersate commerce but no where in the Constitution is there a clause that states the government can dictate to us that we MUST buy something or penalize us for not doing so. What if they decide we MUST all buy electric cars and penalize us if we do not. Give them one chance to do and they will repeat it over and over. It is not Constitutional and it needs to be thrown out.

    To twist it around another way, to say it is a tax can not fly in the face of the Constitution either. The tax needs to represent something that will be used for a purpose to benefit the people. How can you tax someone for healthcare and then deny the same people from using it? Using the car example again – they tax us in order to provide you with a grean electric car ( better for global warming  you know) then they tell you that you are worthy enough to drive it – so it sits in your driveway. You are taxed for healthcare but then told you are not worthy enough to be provide healthcare – blue pill for you.

    Obama is just playing dictator and if he does not get his way he changes tactics to see if that will fly, if not twist it again and see if that works. If all else fails he will hit you with an executive order – and that is getting a bit tiresome too.

  4. winnie888 says:

    Kate, channeling Ronald Reagan again?  He was a smart cookie.  Oh that we could elect his reanimated corpse for president!

    • Dimsdale says:

      Well, if the Democrats can get the deceased to vote, is it such a stretch to elect a deceased person?  I can't imagine that they would make worse decisions than some I have seen from Congress and the White House.

  5. sammy22 says:

    Good luck on this issue.

  6. Dimsdale says:

    Missouri voter vote overwhelmingly to reject federal mandate to purchase health insurance.

     

    Three to one margin.

     

    Is it November yet?

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